Herald Sun – Reports of illness prompt audit of smart meter radiation

AN independent audit of electromagnetic radiation from smart meters will begin next month as critics claim reports of illness from hundreds of Victorians represent an emerging health crisis.

More than 250 Victorians have contacted Stop Smart Meters Australia to report insomnia, headaches, ringing in the ears, tiredness and burning or tingling sensations.

“Adverse reactions to smart meter emissions have also resulted, for some, in loss of employment, social dislocation, and unwanted family separations,” it says in a letter to the State Government.

Independent electromagnetic radiation tests at 55 properties are due to start late next month.

Energy Minister Russell Northe said: “The Government expects that smart meters will be shown to operate well within the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency standard.”

Electromagnetic emission rates from the smart meters will be compared with those from other devices such as mobile phones, microwave ovens, televisions, wi-fi routers and computers.

A similar, smaller 2011 study found emissions were well within the accepted safety standard.

Some people listed on the Australian Electromagnetic Radiation Health Complaints Register — which has received 22 reports relating to smart meters — will be invited to participate in the new audit.

But Stop Smart Meters Australia’s Janobai Smith said the study was of “limited value” because it wouldn’t interview people about ill health, nor test for biological effects.

Steve Weller, a senior IT consultant who shifted from Victoria to Queensland to escape smart meters, believes two devices at a neighbour’s property prompted his heart palpitations, head and intestinal pain, and insomnia.

But the director of the Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research, Professor Rodney Croft, said there had been no convincing demonstrations of health effects from mobile phones, “which are 100 times more powerful than smart meters”.

A story by : Karen Collier

Herald Sun Article found here.



Posted in Energy Minister, headaches, health risks | Tagged , , , , | 85 Comments

Telstra warning customers to avoid electromagnetic energy

Hot on the heels of the recent series of news reports about WiFi health and safety concerns shown by Channel 7,  Telstra has been warning customers on the potential dangers of Electro Magnetic Energy from mobile phones.  A text message was delivered to Telstra customers’ mobile phones, which directs them to Telstra’s website for more information.

Full details of this warning from Telstra has been described in a recent news article which can be found here – Report in the Toowoomba Chronicle

Other related links:

Telstra’s warning
More information from Telstra

Posted in Smart Meter | Tagged , , , , , | 17 Comments

Victorian Parliament passes Energy Legislation Amendment (Customer Metering Protections and Other Matters) Bill 2014

This bill includes the power to make Orders in Council to provide for setting fees to manually read meters, and the recovery of these fees by retailers. These charges are yet to be set, with the AER (Australian Energy Regulator) having final approval. This is expected to occur in November, with manual reading fees due to commence in March 2015.

Not surprisingly, members from both sides of the House wholeheartedly support the continued rollout of smart meters. After all, it was Labor who commenced the rollout, and the Coalition who decided it made sense to continue with the rollout. The bill also had the support of the Greens, in the Legislative Council’s second reading on the 6th May. As such, debate, in the Legislative Assembly’s second reading of the bill on the 25th June, remained shallow, with both sides appearing to be more intent on scoring political kicks regarding the acknowledged bungled rollout, rather than focusing on the issues at stake.

Members of Parliament from both sides happily concurred that it was a mistake to have made the rollout compulsory. Hence the new measures to allow for manual reads. At odds with this seeming benevolence towards the 60,000 or so households which remain without smart meters, was the complete absence of debate regarding the many households who have had unwanted smart meters foisted upon them. Why should they be denied a non-wireless meter? The Member for Ballarat East, Mr Howard, stated that some 89 individual case studies had been brought to his attention, where people had had smart meters forcibly connected in their absence, despite saying that they did not want them.

Health concerns, although mentioned by a number of Members, remain patently misunderstood and trivialised. The Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources, Ms D’Ambrosio, claimed that “there have been repeated independent health reports produced that show no known link between AMI technology and adverse health impacts”. This is news to Stop Smart Meters Australia; the only study commissioned to-date by the government touching on this issue, the 2011 AMI Meter Electromagnetic Field Survey, merely examined a small sample of meters to ensure that emissions met the ARPANSA radiofrequency standard. People, animals and effects on the environment were left out of the equation. Given this standard only seeks to protect Australians from gross heating effects, it is hardly surprising that microwave emissions fell well within its limits.

Mr Kotsiras also managed to do a swift retreat from his commitment, made on 3AW on the 29th January, whilst he was the Minister for Energy and Resources, to get “a third party – not government – to work out whether there are any health risks associated with smart meters”. Instead, we find he asked for a “technical study to expand the earlier work on electromagnetic fields”. Huuh? Exactly how is undertaking a ‘larger sample size’ of meters going to be of assistance in establishing health risks? It seems Victorians’ pleas to study people have again fallen on deaf ears.

Members on both sides of the House appear to believe that ‘flexible’ pricing is what is about to float the boat for consumers. Never mind that all Victorian electricity consumers are being forced to pay dearly for this questionable benefit. All Victorians commenced paying for the botched rollout from the beginning of 2010, regardless of whether or not they had a smart meter. 2.3 billion dollars is the figure that Members continued to quote in their speeches as being the cost of the rollout, up by 1.5 billion dollars over the original costing. Considering Ms D’Ambrosio’s claim that the government is “finding it extremely difficult to get Victorians to take up flexible pricing”, it seems that it is Victorians again, who are the losers.

Victoria’s smart meter rollout, far from making life better for consumers, has resulted in, as Mr Carbines, State Member for Ivanhoe, noted “a significant increase in the number of complaints by consumers to the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (EWOV)”. It seems, with the added penalty of meter reading fees looming near, depending on the whims of the AER, Victorians refusing smart meters on the basis of health, safety and cost issues, will continue to be fodder in the power industry’s pursuit of profits.

To view a copy of the SSMA media release that was sent out to media organisations on 3rd July click: SSMA New Meter Reading Fee Media Release



Victorian Parliamentary Debates, Legislative Assembly, 25 June, Available: http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/daily-hansard/Assembly_2014/Assembly_Daily_Extract_Wednesday_25_June_2014_from_Book_9.pdf

Energy Legislation Amendment (Customer Metering Protections and Other Matters) Bill 2014, Available: http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/domino/Web_Notes/LDMS/PubPDocs.nsf/ee665e366dcb6cb0ca256da400837f6b/8179e32c8045389fca257cad007d1193!OpenDocument

Posted in Smart Meter | Tagged , , , , , , , | 67 Comments

Wi-Fi in Schools – Health Risk Concerns

Is WiFi Safe? This is the question on the minds of many parents in Australia whose children attend schools that have rolled out WiFi in their classrooms.

Building biologist Nicole Bijlsma warns about the health impacts of radio frequencies from wireless devices upon children.  Meanwhile, one primary school in South Australia has installed wired internet in reaction to reports of health problems from WiFi.

Pippa Gardner from Channel 7 reports:

Posted in Wi-Fi | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

United Energy backflips (again)

Earlier in the year United Energy seemed to have accepted that its customers have the right not to accept installation of smart meters.  They sent a letter to their customers stating “….we honour your request not to have a smart meter installed…” and “We have now removed the meter at your property from United Energy’s smart meter exchange program.” See: http://stopsmartmeters.com.au/2014/02/05/united-energy-first-power-distributor-in-victoria-to-acknowledge-peoples-rights/

However, recently, United Energy sent letters to the same customers stating that they “must have the existing meter replaced with a smart meter.”  This letter was enclosed in a package along with numerous documents and colourful brochures (a.k.a propaganda) promoting the ‘benefits’ of smart meters.

Stop Smart Meters Australia received a copy of a letter responding to United Energy’s latest harassment.  We believe this letter is worth sharing: Letter to UE

Remember, United Energy is the same company that cut Sofia Telemzouguer’s power, agreed to reinstate it, and then reneged.  Is it any surprise that this same company back flips and demands that customers accept the installation of smart meters against their will, and for some, against medical advice?



Posted in Smart Meter | Tagged , | 64 Comments

Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) health complaints soar in Victoria

ARPANSA (Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency) commenced Australia’s first centralised EMR Health Complaints Register on 4 July 2003. The Register collects reports of health concerns related to possible EMR field exposures in the range of 0-300 GHz.

Out of a total of 91 reports received up until June 2013, 36 (40%) were received in the 2012 – 2013 reporting period alone. Moreover, 78% of the reports for the July 2012 – June 2013 period came from just one state – Victoria.

No prizes for guessing as to what appears to be behind this massive spike. The leading EMR source reported as causing health effects during this period was smart meters. Go to http://www.arpansa.gov.au/pubs/emr/analysis12-13.pdf to see the breakdown and the health effects that people are reporting.

What will the July 2013 – June 2014 reporting period reveal?

Click on http://stopsmartmetersau.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/arpansa-report-form.doc, print out the form, fill in and mail to ARPANSA if you want to add your own report to this year’s statistics. There is always the chance, if enough people take the time to report their symptoms, that research will, finally, be undertaken into the health effects resulting from the roll-out of smart meters.

Posted in health risks, Smart Meter | Tagged , , , , | 48 Comments

Wi-Fi – “The Government admits it can’t be 100% sure there are no longterm health risks” – Ch 7 News

Scientists fear Wi-FI is damaging our health. Pippa Gardner from Ch 7 reports:



Summary of this news item:

Wi-Fi health risks?

Pippa Gardner 7 News, Sydney, June 17, 2014, 6:12 pm

Wi-Fi has revolutionised the way we work, learn and live.

While the radiation waves it emits are very low, some scientists fear it is damaging our health, and we will not know the full effects for generations to come.

And they now want government standards reviewed before it is too late.

James McCaughan is a former physics lecturer, and he believes he developed Wi-Fi sensitivity after constant exposure from smart phones in lecture rooms.

“I’d say it’s like sunburn,” he said.

“Some people have got fair skin and they’re very sensitive to sunburn and you come out of the sun and your skin is still radiating and I think it’s like that your brain once it’s been sensitized is just burning.

“I knew I couldn’t go back in that room again so I just said look I can’t continue teaching, please accept my resignation”

Wi-Fi is almost impossible to avoid.

A former NASA scientist mapped transmission waves across Washington DC. The city is immersed.

The concern is that Wi-Fi emits low levels of radiation similar to mobile phones.

Australian Wi-Fi safety guidelines were last updated ten years ago, well before smart phones, tablets and the rollout of wireless internet in schools. Because the technology is so new even the government admits it cannot be 100 per cent sure there are no long term health risks, particularly for children.

Many schools use industrial Wi-Fi, which transmits at the same level as a phone tower.

In France and England, some schools have switched to wired internet because of safety concerns.

Posted in Smart Meter | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments